Diagnostic Tests

Fungal Culture Pericardial Fluid


Fungal Culture Pericardial Fluid

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What is this test?

Fungal culture pericardial fluid is performed on a sample of pericardial fluid to check for the fungal growth in the pericardial fluid (a fluid made in the pericardium). This test helps to know whether you have a fungal infection in the heart or not.

What are the heart fungal infections?

Fungal organisms are found anywhere in the environment. They exist as two forms yeasts and molds. The fungal organisms that exhibit a temperature-dependent switch between these two forms are known as dimorphic. These organisms can cause infections in individuals with poor immunity.

Candida species are the most common form of yeasts that cause fungal infections. These fungal organisms cause bloodstream infection with involvement of other organs. Cryptococcus species are another form of yeasts which can cause infections especially in individuals with poor immunity. Aspergillus genus members are a form of molds which can cause diseases and can trigger the allergic reactions in many individuals. Rhizopus, Mucor, Rhizomucor etc are other forms of molds that rarely cause infection.

Histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, sporotrichosis, coccidioidomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, and chromoblastomycosis are fungi that are dimorphic in nature. These fungal organisms exist as yeast form in infected individuals (host) and as a mold form in the environment.

The pericardium is a double-layered protective membrane that surrounds the heart. This membrane produces pericardial fluid which acts as a lubricant for the heart movements. It also reduces the friction of the heart while pumping blood. The condition of excess accumulation of this fluid in the pericardium can cause pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium). Infections are one of the major cause for this condition. Swelling of the pericardium can be due to bacterial or fungal infection. This test helps to determine whether the infection is due to fungus or not.

Candida and Aspergillus species are fungal organisms that cause heart infections. Candida is the fungal species that cause candida pericarditis. They are less common and mainly affects the individuals with poor immunity. Signs and symptoms of fungal pericarditis are fever, chills, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, fast heartbeat, etc.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of routine health screening or to determine the presence of fungal heart infections. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of fungal pericarditis such as fever, chills, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, fast heartbeat, etc. This test is also performed to monitor and evaluate the treatment effectiveness in individuals receiving treatment for fungal heart infections. However, your doctor may ask to perform a susceptibility testing on the fungi isolated from this culture test to determine the antifungal treatment.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Fungal Culture Pericardial Fluid. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Fungal Culture Pericardial Fluid.

No specific preparation is required for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

The test results may be vary depending on gender, age, health conditions, and other factors.

If the culture test is positive it may indicate the growth of fungal organisms such as isolates of Candida, Aspergillus species or any other fungal organisms in the pericardial fluid. It may indicate the presence of fungal heart infections. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results, along with the physical symptoms to diagnose the exact infection.

If the culture test is negative it means no growth of fungal organisms is detected from the pericardial fluid.

Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsThe growth observed depends on the type of the fungal organism that grows
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